The Malaysian government will set up a $500 million (US$123 million) fund to help young business leaders.

“We hope this allocation will encourage and strengthen the involvement of the young in entrepreneurship,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Financial institutions can manage the fund, but the Ministry of Youth and Sports must approve the recipients, he said, according to local media.

With the new scheme, the Ministry will be able to “coordinate numerous funds related to youth development and entrepreneurship handled by numerous agencies”, Zahid added.

The Youth Ministry previously held a fund, but stopped giving out loans in 2009.